Your Boats Are Burning
By Ed Uszynski
One year into marriage, they were already completely miserable as a couple. Someone asked us to meet with them to see if we could help.
We decided to meet with him first. I remember two sentences from our time together.
“In the weeks leading up to our wedding day, I knew I didn’t like her that much.”
Then why the heck did you get married?
“I told myself, if it doesn’t work out, we’ll just get divorced.”
Got it. Thank you. You can stop now. I think I understand what’s going on here.
And what you’re saying is both ridiculous and a great reminder.
If you’re not sure you like each other before the wedding, you definitely won’t after. “Liking” each other, outside of arranged marriage, is a prerequisite for marrying someone. It’s something to fall back on when frustration sets in.
But how many of us nurture some variation of his escape clause?
This guy approached marriage with a trump card he’d hidden up his sleeve, a Survivor immunity idol to keep him safe in case it got tough—which it inevitably would.
Maybe you’ve heard of Cortes, the explorer who sank his own ships to ensure his crew would follow him inland. With no opportunity for retreat, all their energy went into figuring out a way to make it work. For this and many other reasons, Cortes is not exactly a model leader. But the concept is transferable to marriage.
Even if you’ve divorced previously, have you expressed in your current marriage that divorce won’t be an option? Have you said it out loud to each other?
Say it today. Remind each other.
Be anchored by an agreed upon starting point that says, “No retreat.” Let the smell of that burning wood motivate you to be secure in your resolve.
To pray more for each other. To get counseling help. To forgive again. To remember why you first liked each other.
Whatever it takes.
The Good Stuff: What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Mark 10:9)
Action points: Ever find yourself fantasizing about an escape hatch for your marriage? What pain points in your marriage most cause you to glance at the door? Choose one sacrificial solution you’ll actively pursue to do whatever it takes.
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